Torrid Bel Air rolls past Edgewood Rafalski, Amrein sparkle in Bobcats' 15-0 victory

September 19, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Bel Air coach Bruce Riley said quarterback Adam Rafalski is a master of improvisation, always able to think on the run. Last night against Edgewood, the young signal-caller showed why he deserves such praise.

Despite being sacked four times, Rafalski ran for 66 yards -- including a 24-yard touchdown and two-point conversion -- in leading the No. 6-ranked Bobcats to a 15-0 win over host Edgewood in a Harford County League game.

"He's great at reading holes. He's good at making cuts and great at making decisions," said Riley. "When he cuts back against the grain, a lot of things can happen."

Rafalski and running back Justin Amrein (15 carries, 65 yards) were two of the main reasons Bel Air dominated as the Bobcats out-gained the Rams, 252-119.

"Execution -- that was the key tonight," said Riley. "We were able to move the chains, and that was a big key."

Said Rafalski: "We had the ball most of the time. They were getting tired at the end."

The win was Bel Air's second straight shutout after last week's 21-0 blanking of Fallston. The Bobcats (3-0 overall, 2-0 league) opened the season with a 27-21 upset of defending Class 3A state champion Wilde Lake.

For Edgewood (2-1), which had scored 37 in a blowout win over Bohemia Manor last week, the loss was an aberration.

"I was very proud that our kids continued to fight," said Rams coach John Mayhorne. "We're just going to come back next week, strap them up and go again."

Bel Air started quickly, turning a big play on defense into an early score. On the first play from scrimmage, the Bobcats recovered a fumble by Edgewood's Randy Bufkin at the Rams' 31.

Six plays later, following an 18-yard gain on a rollout by Rafalski, Amrein scored from 2 yards. Rafalski's ensuing run for a two-point conversion made it 8-0 with 8: 34 left in the first quarter.

Later in the quarter, Edgewood embarked on its longest drive of the half -- 53 yards -- but failed to score when Malik Alston's pass on fourth-and-two fell incomplete.

That left the door open for Bel Air to take command of the game, as the Bobcats used Amrein's hard running to gain large chunks of yardage in a 12-play, 66-yard drive. It ended on Rafalski's 24-yard scramble for a touchdown to make it 15-0 1: 38 from halftime.

The Bobcats out-gained the Rams, 109-66, in the half, limiting Edgewood to two first downs.

Pub Date: 9/19/98

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